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Ep. 5 - Learning How to Heal a Year After Tragedy

October 22, 2019

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As Pittsburgh prepares to mark one year since the attack on the Tree of Life synagogue, we invited Maggie Feinstein of the 10.27 Healing Partnership to discuss the new center’s mission and how Squirrel Hill has healed over time.

Also in this episode, we talk about fear-based marketing, future modes of journalism with a guest who has a special connection to the podcast, and hear a track from a promising singer from Sewickley.


This Episode is sponsored by WordWrite

Centuries before cell phones and social media, human connections were made around fires as we shared the stories that shaped our world. Today, stories are still the most powerful way to move hearts and minds and inspire action. At WordWrite, Pittsburgh's largest independent public relations agency, we understand that before you had a brand, before you sold any product or service, you had a story.

WordWrite helps clients to uncover their own Capital S Story. The reason someone would want to buy, work, invest or partner with you through our patented story-crafting process. Visit wordwritepr.com to uncover your Capital S Story.

The full transcript to this episode is here:

Logan: You are listening to The P100 Podcast, the biweekly companion piece to The Pittsburgh 100, bringing you Pittsburgh news, culture, and more. Because sometimes 100 words just isn't enough for a great story.

Dan: Hey, everyone. We're back. I'm Dan Stefano, host of The P100 Podcast. I'm here with Paul Furiga.

Paul: Dan, how are you, my friend?

Dan: And our other co-host, Logan Armstrong.

Logan: How's it going, Dan?

Dan: All right. Yeah, great to have you guys here, and we're happy for everybody to be listening today because it's a special episode. We're coming up to the one-year commemoration of the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in our Squirrel Hill neighborhood here. And there's a lot of interesting things going on this time of year. It's been a year of healing, and that's a highlight of the interview we're going to have this week. We're pretty happy to have that. Paul, what are your thoughts?

Paul: I'm really looking forward to hearing from Maggie Feinstein, who's now leading the healing center. As you said, this one-year mark is really important for the community. Not just here in Pittsburgh, but beyond as well.

Dan: That's right. That's Maggie Feinstein, the director of the 10.27 Healing Partnership and we're really happy to have her today. Also, we'll be talking with Erin Hogan. She's a fellow WordWriter and we'll be talking about fear-based PSA. It's kind of based on a blog she recently wrote. After that, we'll hear from Chris Schroder, the founder of The 100 Companies.

Paul: The 100 Companies, right.

Dan: Paul, you've met him. You have a pretty deep professional relationship.

Paul: We do. And I think folks will enjoy the interview, three ex-journalists sitting around the table commiserating about journalism's past and talking about the future.

Dan: Right? Yeah. That's always a lot of fun. And then we'll follow up with a Pittsburgh polyphony and Logan, you have somebody pretty exciting we're going to be talking to, correct?

Logan: Yes, I do. We're going to be talking about a young neo soul artist coming out of the city. So I'm excited to talk about that.

Dan: Right, yeah we're going to be really happy to hear from, well, we're not going to hear from her I guess, but we'll hear from her in her recording from one of her singles and we're really happy to hear that, and let's get to it.

Dan: Okay, everybody. As we mentioned in the introduction, we are nearing the one year mark of the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue. With us is Maggie Feinstein. She's the director of the newly named 10.27 Healing Partnership. 10.27 that being a reference to the date of the attack in which 11 worshipers were killed on a Saturday morning going to synagogue. It was an act of hate, but our city has responded with a lot of acts of love, including programs like this. So thank you for taking the time to be with us here Maggie.

Maggie: Thanks for having me here.

Dan: Absolutely. Can you tell us a little bit about your background and what you do with the healing center?

Maggie: Absolutely. Thank you very much. My background is as a mental health clinician. I'm an LPC, a master's level clinician, and for the last 10 years or so, my work has really been around what we call brief interventions, working with medical doctors and working in medical environments and providing support to the doctors as well as to the patients when they come in for visits.

Dan: Are you from Pittsburgh?

Maggie: I'm from Pittsburgh. I grew up in Squirrel Hill. Yes.

Dan: Oh wow.

Maggie: I still live there and I'm currently raising my kids there.

Dan: Being from there, can you tell us what that morning was like that Saturday?

Maggie: Absolutely. I think that being from there – it is a very familiar place and it is actually somewhere where I've walked all those streets for many, many years. But that morning I was out for a run with a friend and usually we run through the park, but that morning because it was raining, we had run up and we weren't really paying attention. We ended up on Wilkins and we were running up Wilkins and remarked, Oh my gosh, we keep seeing people we know because that's sort of Squirrel Hill for you, people travel the same routes. And so people kept waving out the windows. So it was a morning unfortunately that I found myself outside of there, but was just about 20 minutes earlier and I was reminded of community really, which is what growing up in Squirrel Hill feels like, that it was hard to run down the street without having to stop and talk to lots of people. Which is a wonderful thing, though on that morning it did feel a little bit scary.

Dan: That was an incredible day for all the wrong reasons. Can you tell us a little bit about the healing center then? When we talked previously, you'd mentioned being part of that community and now it's going to be a pretty integral piece I think.

Maggie: So being from the neighborhood, it was this opportunity to try and serve the community that's been so great to me. And so after the shooting happened on October 27 there was a lot of amazing community activity going on, which I wasn't part of, but I'm really inspired by the community partners that stepped up to the plate. In Pittsburgh we have had such wonderful cooperation between the congregations, the nonprofits like the Jewish Community Center, Jewish Family and Community Services and the Jewish Federation. And so between the synagogues, those three major institutions as well as the Center for Victims, which is always ready and able to respond to community mental health needs, there was just this really amazing partnership that happened and then being able to eventually incorporate the voices of the victims and the survivors.

Maggie: They all together created the 10.27 Healing Partnership. So I'm the director of it, but the truth was that it was the efforts that happened week in, week out afterwards of people really caring and people wanting to have their voices heard when it comes to what community recovery looks like since it was a community trauma.

Dan: Right. And there is a level of a federal involvement with this?

Maggie: Yes. And so immediately in the aftermath the federal government came, FBI, as well as the Office of Victims of Crime have offered a ton of support. They have people who were able to come in, help our community, help that group of people who were gathering to decide what to do next, help guide them through the process of creating what is generically known as a resiliency center. And those federal groups really were able to give perspective on how do we move forward, how do we gather, how do we anticipate what the community needs might look like, and then respond to those needs.

Dan: Right.

Logan: And so the, the healing centers recently opened, it opened on October 1st, correct?

Maggie: It opened on October 2nd, yes.

Logan: October 2nd, okay. And so it's been opened recently. Have you had a chance to gauge how they're responding to it now that it's open?

Maggie: I think that opening our doors was a really awesome opportunity because what we say when people are feeling this sense of loss is that there's no wrong door and that the more doors that are open to people, the better. But I also think that before we opened our doors on October 2nd, a lot of people were accessing services through the Center for Victims or through JFCS. And so what we have seen in the last two weeks is that a lot of people are saying this is a relief to know this is here. It's good to know there's a door.

Maggie: It doesn't mean that people were sitting and waiting to go just there because there are other places. But what a lot of people say is that I do have a therapist or I've been part of a support group and then there's just some days that feel really hard. And so knowing that I could come in here on those days that just feel hard to be with people, to gather, to maybe get some emotional support or maybe to practice some self-guided relaxation. People are saying, Oh that's really nice to know that's there.

Logan: And going off that, I read that you guys actually have someone that will come to greet you when you get there and as you said, some days you're just feeling vulnerable or sad. How do you feel the importance of that is, just kind of having someone there to greet you and bring you in when you're going to the healing center?

Maggie: I think it's so important. I think, I mean one functionally for the JCC, for people who are not members of the JCC, because that's where we are housed, we're using space within the JCC. For people who aren't members, it's helpful because they don't know their way around. But more importantly as humans it's nice to connect to people. And one of the things we know is that with trauma we kind of disconnect, we pull away. And so I think the earlier that people can connect and feel like somebody cares and feel like they're not alone, the better it is. And so the greeter role is a really important one where someone can come to the door and walk you up, make sure you have what you need and make sure you're comfortable.

Dan: What do you see as a therapist, say the difference between an individual trauma and then traumas that might affect an entire community? I mean, there might be a guy who just works down the street who really, maybe he's not a Jewish person, but this tragedy, I mean, could greatly affect them.

Maggie: Absolutely. And I think that's a really important point. And I think it's a good question because I've thought a lot about what is different than when something terrible happens to me and something terrible happens to the bigger community. And I think that there is a challenge because there are so many levels of grieving that can happen when there's a tragedy within the community and all of those different levels of grieving mean that people are hitting it at different moments and people are feeling different things. And so there's sort of these waves, but people aren't necessarily on the same wave as other people. And so that's one of the reasons that the federal government has thought through this, thought of having these resiliency centers and in Pittsburgh our resiliency center is the 10.27 Healing Partnership.

Maggie: But to have these resiliency centers was thought out by Congress a long time ago after 9/11 when they realized that as communities continue to experience the losses that happened during a communal trauma, that it's very, the needs change and the needs need to be attended to. We have to keep ourselves aware of them. And one of the things that I would say is that the needs will evolve over time, that just like grief and like other experiences, that because it's a communal trauma, we want to evolve with the community's needs. We don't stay stuck. So the space that we created is meant to be as flexible as possible, but equally the services will be driven primarily by the people who come in and desire them. And the hope with that is that we can respond to what people are looking for rather than what I, with my mental health degree, believe people might be looking for because that's a lot less important than what it is that people are seeking.

Dan: Maybe stepping outside of your professional role and just thinking of yourself as a Squirrel Hill resident. After this last year here, what do you see from the community and how do you see that either it has changed, good, bad, where people, where their heads might be and just where people are, how it feels there right now.

Maggie: I think that this a high holiday season, Yom Kippur that just passed felt very different for most people. And I think that like most other grieving emotions, there's good and bad, they're complicated, they don't feel just one way. And the good part, I heard a lot of people say how relieving it was to go to synagogue this year and be around old friends, people that we haven't seen for a while and to feel that sense of connectedness. Like I was saying, that's one of the more important things. But for a number of the congregations there was also a sense of being displaced or the absence of the people who had been such wonderful community leaders in their congregations. And so I think that there is a lot of complicated emotions.

Maggie: There's a lot of new relationships. There's also deepening of old relationships that are beautiful and wonderful to see and that people have connected not just within the Squirrel Hill community but within Greater Pittsburgh, like you were saying, there's a lot of people who've been affected from outside of Squirrel Hill of course, and a lot of them have come in to reconnect with old friends, to reconnect with community.

Maggie: And so those are the moments that feel, we call that the mental health side, we call that the post traumatic growth. Those are opportunities where when something has been broken, there can be a new growth that comes out of it. But that at the same time there's just a big sense of loss. Like I was saying earlier with my morning that day when I came through Wilkins and it's just a small street, anybody from another city wouldn't consider it a major thoroughfare. But it is really hard to have the feeling of the change of the neighborhood with that building currently not being able to be occupied.

Dan: What can you tell us with October 27th coming up here, what types of activities or events are going to be going on either at the center or just within the community?

Maggie: There has been an effort by that same group of people that I'd mentioned earlier who helped to create the 10.27 Healing Partnership to create community events that happened on 10.27 this year, 10 27 2019. And that was something we learned from other communities was that it had to be owned by the community. And that there has to be something for people to do because there's often a lot of times where we have energy we want to give. So together that group's come up with the motto for the day is remember, repair, together. And those are lessons we've learned from other places. So there'll be community service, there's community service throughout the city. There's ways that people can sign up for slots, but there's also an encouragement that communities can gather on their own and create their own community service. It doesn't just have to be through organized community service.

Maggie: And then also there'll be Torah study, which is really important in the Jewish tradition in terms of honoring people after death. And so the Torah study will be happening and there is a communal gathering at Soldiers and Sailors in the evening and throughout the day there'll be activities going on at the 10.27 Healing Partnership at the JCC, we'll be having for people who just don't really know what else they want to do that day. They're welcome to come and gather in community, sit together. The Highmark Caring Place will be there doing activities that are really geared towards being present with ourselves, being able to honor lives that were lost and also being able to support each other in this hard time.

Dan: Right. And I'm not sure if we mentioned it earlier, but the Healing Partnership that's located, is that on Murray Avenue at the JCC?

Maggie: Yeah, so the JCC sits at Forbes and Murray and Darlington.

Dan: Okay, right.

Maggie: It takes over that whole block. But yeah, so in Squirrel Hill, Forbes and Murray, and there will not be regularly scheduled activities that Sunday at the JCC. And the only real purpose for coming there will be people who want to gather in community. There won't be exercising or basketball or any of those other things that day.

Dan: Right. Where can we find you online?

Maggie: So the address is www.1027healingpartnership.org. And on the website we really tried to promote a lot of ways that people can do their own learning, exploration. Even some things that we can do on our own with apps and podcasts and things that people can do at home.

Dan: Well Maggie, thank you so much for coming here and thank you so much for what you do in the community. We really appreciate you being here today.

Maggie: Thank you so much for having me and thank you for highlighting the important things going on in Pittsburgh.

Dan: Absolutely.

Dan: All right, we're here with Erin Hogan, she's an account supervisor here at Word Write. And we wanted to talk with Erin here about one of her blogs that she just wrote for our storytellers blog. The title is fear based marketing campaigns are not always the right approach. A really interesting topic. It kind of sparked out of a conversation that we were having in the office and Erin, thanks for being with us and can you tell us a little bit about the blog?

Erin: Yeah, thanks for having me. So really, this stemmed from a conversation I actually had with my husband. He sent me this video and asked for my opinion on it. I was, just had to be honest that I really didn't like it.

Dan: Okay...

Erin: I think it's from a-

Dan: You didn't like the video. What's the video?

Erin: So the Sandy Hook Promise PSA. It's basically this really dark play on a back to school supplies commercial. So it starts out with kids showing their folders and their backpacks and their skateboard and just general things that people and parents purchase their kids to go to school for the new year. And then it just starts to take a turn. You kind of see some shuffling happening in the background, and you start to notice that there's something happening at this school.

Dan: There's an active shooter.

Erin: There's an active shooter. And that's really what the video is supposed to get across, supposed to. The goal of this campaign is to show people, it's to encourage knowing the signs of gun violence before they happen. But the thing that really got me going with this video is that you're encouraging to know the signs about gun violence before they happen, when depicting an act of gun violence. That just seems to me counterintuitive to what they're trying to convey. Just in general, the whole concept of my blog, getting back to the point of this segment is fear based approach versus a positive tone of an ad. How do you, what's the best way to tell a story? I mean we're at WordWrite all about storytelling, finding the best way to tell a business story. But even in a general cause related marketing effort, what's the best way to tell a story?

Dan: In advocacy, right.

Erin: Right. And based on the evidence that I've found in the research, it really doesn't work. So sure everybody remembers the anti-drug PSAs in the ‘80s and ‘90s and 2000 that were funded by the Partnership for a Drug Free America. There was the your brain on drugs. That one was a big, everybody remembers that one. It was the guy in the kitchen saying this is your brain and he shows an egg. And then he hits it into a cast iron pan and says, this is your brain on drugs. And it's supposed to say your brain's fried on drugs. And basically over the years they had a bunch of variations, that it was basically saying if you do drugs, your parents won't approve. Well when was the last time a 14, 15 year old kid listened to what their parents do.

Erin: They didn't work and in fact it caused the adverse effect. It encouraged kids to think that drugs were cool. There was something, it was the anti, going against my parents. Whereas they took a shift, a more encouraging shift in the mid 2000s, many of the younger generations will remember this, the above the influence campaigns. Which basically, instead of showing imagery of kids defying their parents and the consequences of their actions, it took a more positive tone, basically showing the positive ramifications of making an informed decision on their own and having the independence and the courage to say no without any oversight from their parents. Those actually performed far better.

Erin: So it begs the question to me for a PSA like the Sandy Hook Promise PSA. Would it have had a more resounding impact or a better impact on the viewers if it showed the positives of stopping gun violence versus the negatives of what happens after gun violence occurs?

Dan: One thing I think that's important that we'd be remiss if we didn't add here is that the ad itself within, I think a couple of days of it, I think had actually earned millions of dollars or a great sum for Sandy Hook Promise. So for that group, so-

Erin: Donated ad spend.

Dan: Donated ad, yeah there we go.

Erin: Or ad, media placements.

Dan: This is why we have Erin on because she can say the right words.

Erin: I'm here all night.

Dan: Exactly, this is going to be one of two hours now with Erin. No, but it did have an impact. It did, it did, it was successful. And I think something important right now that we have to think of is, do we have to be provocative today? Is that how you get people's attention or is there a way to balance that? Logan, you want to jump in?

Logan: Yeah, sure. I think also this is just a microcosm of society at large where we've become less of, even in the media where 20 years ago it counted on who was reporting the right news at the right time and now it's become who's reporting it first, whether or not they have to issue corrections later or not. And so I think in that same kind of click-baity kind of way that that society on, especially on the internet has become, I think that this PSA may have fallen victim to that. And as you said, whether or not that was the right move is kind of debatable, but I think this is a small part of a society's directional move at large.

Erin: Yeah, I mean certainly you have to cut through the clutter. No one would dismiss that. Especially any talented marketer. I'm also not insinuating or advocating for doing nothing. Doing nothing is never an answer either-

Dan: Right.

Erin: They certainly have an admirable cause that they're going after here. And obviously the genesis of the Sandy Hook Promise Organization, it comes out of, it was birthed from a really horrible, horrible tragedy in United States history. But in terms of the approach and just looking at it from a technical messaging standpoint that we as marketers do, I'm just not sure it fully executed what it’s intention initially was.

Dan: All right. Well Erin, you definitely gave us a lot to think about here. We thank you for coming on and I think for sure we'll be seeing, as long as we have television, as long as we have advertising, we're going to see similar ads like this, so we'll be sure to keep our eyes on it and follow those trends. So thanks a lot.

Erin: Yeah, thanks for having me. Bye guys.

Logan: Centuries before cell phones and social media, human connections were made around fires as we shared, the stories have shaped our world. Today, stories are still the most powerful way to move hearts and minds and inspire action. At WordWrite, Pittsburgh's largest independent public relations agency, we understand that before you had a brand, before you sold any product or service, you had a story. WordWrite helps clients to uncover their own capital S story. The reason someone would want to buy, work, invest or partner with you through our patented story crafting process. Visit wordwritepr.com to uncover your capital S story.

Paul: We mark an anniversary with this episode of the P100 podcast, the audio companion to the Pittsburgh 100, and that is the second anniversary of the Pittsburgh 100 e-zine. Our podcast is a little bit younger here but we're pleased to have with us in the studio for this segment, Chris Schroder, who is the founder of The 100 Companies. Say hello there Chris.

Chris: Good morning Pittsburgh.

Paul: The Pittsburgh 100 and this podcast are one of more than 20 affiliated publications in The 100 Companies network. Chris is in town for a few days, visiting, working with us on a few things. So we thought it'd be a great opportunity to give the listeners a little bit of background on why we do the 100, why we do this podcast. And since Dan and I are both former journalists and so is Chris, to have one of those, “didn't journalism used to be great and now where the hell is it going”, sort of a conversation.

Dan: Was it ever great?

Paul: Dan, your experience might be different than mine.

Dan: I wasn't in the Woodward Bernstein era, so I don't know.

Paul: I had a tee shirt when I got into journalism, which was during that era. The tee-shirt said "If your mother loves you, if your mother says she loves you, check it out".

Chris: Trust, but verify.

Paul: That's right. That's right. So Chris, tell us a little bit about your background.

Chris: My blood is full of ink. I was a high school newspaper editor, college newspaper editor, came up in the Watergate era, graduated from high school when Nixon was resigning and then worked for six daily newspapers, and then started my own neighborhood newspapers in Atlanta. And we built that up to about a hundred thousand circulation, had about three different titles. About 10 years ago I started working with some journalists in the Atlanta area who worked for the daily newspaper and they were unfortunately being downsized out of the daily paper.

Paul: A common refrain.

Chris: Yes, and so they, I helped them start a publication there that had a newsletter, website and social media platform. So I helped them start that. I'd developed a revenue model for them. It's doing great 10 years later. But I noticed three or four years in that people were not clicking on the read more link in the stories as much as they used to in the newsletter. They were seeming to be fine with a shorter excerpt. So I tried to come up with a newsletter where you did not have to click through, where everything was contained in the newsletter itself and so we started designing that, realized that might be about a hundred words. So we said, why don't we call it the Atlanta 100, every article be exactly 100 words, every video be exactly a hundred seconds. And we went to market, people really enjoyed it.

Chris: And later I talked to a conference of PR owners, about 150 owners in the room, and was telling them the history of content marketing all the way through the rise of newspapers and the fall of newspapers and ended with a journalism project on the Atlanta 100. And at the end of it, 12 owners came up and gave me their business cards and said I'd like to start a 100 in my city. So that thus began the expansion into a network of The 100 Companies.

Paul: So Chris, something that Dan and I get a question about quite often, and really Dan is the editorial director here, having come to us directly from journalism. Where do the 100 publications and podcasts like this sit on the journalistic scale? I mean we joked about Woodward and Bernstein, obviously we're not an investigative journalism enterprise. How would you describe what we do?

Chris: Well, we are part of what I see as the new emerging marketplace in media where we've had a sort of disassembling over the last few years of the traditional media marketplace. So 1,800 newspapers have closed in the last 18 years. Tens of thousands of journalists have been let go to be put into other jobs or find other careers. We've had a lot of changes, a lot of new emerging media coming up digitally. There's a lot of interest of course in the last 20 years in social media, but now we're finding the problems in that with Facebook and other issues of privacy.

Chris: So I think what we are is a part of the solution and part of the experimentation that we will in another five years start to see a lot of clarity as people start to organize and merge. And there will be some platforms that emerge and some that fall away as we're seeing now with the larger level of some of the streaming, a lot of organization going on with HBO and AT&T and Comcast and different people trying to organize who's going to win. There'll probably be three or four winners in the streaming of video. Disney's getting into it, so many other people are. But there's going to be a consolidation there. Eventually, there'll be a consolidation of, as there was in the beginning of traditional newspapers in America in the 1700s, there will be eventually a settling of the industry and we certainly expect the 100 platform to be one of the winners.

Paul: So gentlemen, last question, biggest question. What is the future of journalism?

Dan: Well, if I could jump into it first here. Obviously the 100 gives us again, just a small little piece of the media landscape here in Pittsburgh. We're not going to be, we're never going to be the PG. We're not that. And it's not what we're trying to be. But I see a lot of former journalists in Pittsburgh that have found websites that maybe five, 10 years ago people would've considered blogs and blogs maybe had a stigma compared to them. But now we're seeing really sharp good people with news sense.

Paul: Yes.

Dan: They understand what is newsworthy.

Paul: Storytellers.

Dan: They're good writers, they're storytellers and they're finding these outlets that people are starting to gravitate to. Not long ago we had Rossliynne Culgan of The Incline on. They're doing a lot of great work there. Between say Next Pittsburgh, we see good stuff from out of them. There are a lot of good small outlets that journalists are flocking to after they either lose their job or they just realize that, I hate it, there's not much of a route forward in the newspapers. So there's always going to be room for people that know how to write, I feel like.

Paul: Yes. And tell stories and write information. Chris.

Chris: I think storytelling is very primal. That's how we all learned to hear, store and retrieve information as children. And it goes back millennia, the storytelling tradition. So I think it's very important to do it in as few as a hundred words or as many as 10,000 words. I'd like to look at journalism on a continuum and I think what's going to happen, I like to think that it's all sort of a pendulum. And that while in the last five to 10 years, our attention spans have gotten much shorter, I think we're poised and ready for what I think might be one day a pendulum swing by a future generation who, attention spans will start to push to be much longer and they'll appreciate the longer read and the longer write. And I think that could happen. Right now we're still in the throws of people just getting very short morsels of information. Twitter did expand from 140 to 280 characters, but I think we're going to see two or three years from now, people start to settle in and realize that morsels are good, but it still leaves them hungry.

Paul: Well, Chris, really appreciate the perspective. Thanks for being here in Pittsburgh and joining us for this segment on the podcast today. We will have to have you back at some time in the future and see how some of your predictions and Dan's have meted out.

Chris: Well, you all are doing great work. You're one of the leaders of our national network, and so thank you for the work you're doing and the innovations you're doing with this podcast and other things. Keep up the great work.

Paul: Thank you, Chris.

Dan: Thanks, Chris.

Dan: Okay, we're back for another edition of our Pittsburgh polyphony series here and really enjoy this one because we get a chance to learn about some new artists that are doing some great things in the region here and Logan, this is a pretty new, interesting artist that we want to talk about here and can take us to introduction.

Logan: So we're going to be talking about Sierra Sellers today. Neo soul, RMB, jazz artist in the Pittsburgh region and she's been putting out some tracks, but she's really seen some recognition in the recent past and I had the opportunity to see her at Club Cafe about a month ago and she just really brings a lot of great energy to the room. She has a great voice and her and her band really interact well and she just brings a lot of positive vibes to the audience.

Dan: Yeah, that's one thing I think, you talk about the energy here and that's an important part of a performer here. As a guy, as an artist yourself, what do you think that offers whenever somebody can kind of control a crowd?

Logan: Oh, it's invaluable. I mean it's the same as any other kind of entertainer, whether you're a comedian or anything else up on stage. And being a performer versus doing a performance is the difference between getting up on stage and singing or rapping or whatever you're doing, all your songs or giving an actual performance and putting on a show to the audience. So, one is vastly more memorable and more connective than the other. And being able to do that on stage is something that, if you want to be a successful artist, you're going to have to learn how to do.

Dan: When you talk about Sierra, what exactly is it that she uniquely brings to the stage?

Logan: Yes. So initially it's just herself. She just has kind of a bubbly personality, but she also gets the crowd to interact and she tells some stories from inspiration behind the songs or inspiration behind the instrumental or the production and talks with the band and just really kind of gets a feel for the audience and kind of feels them out and is able to work the crowd.

Dan: That's awesome. Can you tell us a little bit about the track we're about to hear?

Logan: Yes. So we're about to hear a track of Sierra's called Shine. It's a recent track, the leader on Spotify's playlist. They have a set of astrological sign playlists, with a pretty prominent following, and this landed her on Spotify as Libra playlist. It's collaboration with fellow Pittsburgh rapper who goes by My Favorite Color, which is a great name. But yeah, we're going to lead you out with Shine by Sierra Sellers. A nice vibey track. Great for just a chill day. Just a little mood booster. So hope you enjoy.